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Looking Back at Postaday2011

A year ago, I decided to take WordPress’ challenge to Postaday2011. I made the decision without even thinking about it. The next day, I wondered whether I could really hang in for the long haul and post every day, 365 days, for a year.

The first month or so was pretty easy. I had returned from a life altering two weeks of travel in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho and had what felt like an endless amount of information to share. As a matter of fact, that’s what motivated me to take my blogging more seriously.

After I finished reporting on that trip, I had no other travels scheduled. The challenge then became how to find new and interesting things to post about.

WordPress Annual Report for InsideJourneys

WordPress Annual Report for InsideJourneys

Since music and food are such big parts of my travel experience, I decided to feature a weekly food post that I called Tasty Thursdays and Soulful Sundays. I suspended Tasty Thursday and joined Budget Travelers Sandbox’s Travel Photo Thursday.

WordPress helped by suggesting topics I could write about. They also introduced the Weekly Photo Challenge, which gave me a chance to feature some of my photos. It also offered a ‘break’ from writing.

The one thing I’ve come to love about blogging is how fluid it can be. The people I started with have stopped or moved on to different things. I’ve joined different communities and met other bloggers, all fabulous people who share timely, fun, insightful posts. I hope you’ll stop by their blog and check them out. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Budget Travelers Sandbox
Colorful Footsteps
European Travelista
Hakea
Hike Bike Travel
Mirth and MotivationTechnosyncratic
The Art of Slow Travel
Totsymae
To Write is To Write
Travelnwrite
Traveling with Sweeney

While I was posting every day, WordPress was keeping track. I was surprised to get an email from them with a review of 2011. Unfortunately, they had only my first 159 posts as by mid-year, I had switched to a self-hosted blog.

Here are a few of my most-read posts:

Travel Photo Thursday: Cuba’s Classic Cars
Travel Photo Thursday: Durban Rickshaw
Things I Love About Harlem, Part I
Manhattan to Spain via the Bronx
What, to an Immigrant, is the Fourth of July?
Harlem’s Backyard Gems
Questions to Answer As You Plan Your Trip

And some of my favorite photos:

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For 2012, I’ve decided not to post everyday though I haven’t decided how frequently I will post. Not posting every day will give me time to travel and time to do other things, like read and comment on the blogs that I’ve subscribed.

I hope you will continue this journey with me in 2012.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a very Happy 2012

and a Fabulous New Year of Blogging!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter

It’s difficult to think of winter – the topic of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge — when the temperature’s nearly 80 degrees and I’m looking at the sea. I’m glad that I had these photos in my collection.

Lately, with changes in weather patterns, winters are not as severe as they used to be. Sometimes, weeks pass without snow and we get spoiled by so -called ‘good’ weather. We experienced a period like this in March. Then towards the end of the month, we woke up one morning to some ‘white stuff’ — a dusting, really. I was surprised, though I shouldn’t have been. It was still winter.

An unexpected dusting of snow, Harlem NYC

An unexpected dusting of snow, Harlem NYC

Now this is winter!

The third snow fall on January 27, 2011 brought total amount to 36″ and made it the second snowiest month in New York City.

Snowy trees, Harlem, NYC

Snowy trees, Harlem, NYC

Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Until you have to go out in it. Especially when it starts to melt.

Snowy window, Harlem NYC

Snowy window, Harlem NYC

On December 29th, Jamaicans Elected a New Prime Minister

Yesterday, December 29th, Jamaicans went to the polls to elect a new prime minister. Former PM and Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson-Miller and the People’s National Party won handily – 41 seats to 22.

Jamaica's new PM designate, Portia Simpson Miller, photo via the Internet

Jamaica's new PM designate, Portia Simpson Miller, photo via the Internet

Only time will tell if the PNP will be any different than the outgoing Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). No better herring, no better barrel, is the Jamaican expression that comes to mind. There have been allegations of corruption on both sides. It’s an open secret who’s involved in what, who’s doing what illegal thing. No one’s clean. I hope and pray the new administration will try to put the country first or at least above party or their own personal agendas.

What I hope the new government will do:

  • Continue to bring crime down – business will not thrive in an environment where crime and corruption are common and where ordinary people have no faith in the justice system.
  • Fix the roads – most of the roads, especially those just beyond the “tourist areas” are in deplorable condition. They need to be fixed.
  • Fix the tax system – the only way to get rid of the 17.5% GCT is for the administration to be able to collect income taxes from all working  Jamaicans, and corporations that do business here. A fair and equitable tax system is needed.
  • Fix the educational system – an educated population is one of the lynchpins of development. People must be able not just to read, but to think critically, reason and analyze.
  • Create an environment where business can thrive, one which will be attractive to businesses that want to invest.
  • Be open and transparent. No scandals – financial or other.

This list is by no means comprehensive…..